C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics
"Living Out His Lyrics"
On the front cover of his latest CD, "The Truest S__t I Ever Said," released in 2005, C-Murder is standing defiantly in front of the apartment in the Calliope Project where he grew up. He is bare-chested, wearing a headband, with "C-Murder" tattooed on his abdomen, pointing his finger as if to say, "Yeah, I'm talkin' to YOU!", head turned sideways in a tough-guy pose. The term "thug," which used to be an insult, is now a compliment in contemporary urban America. A badge of honor among those who swagger around, defying authority and exemplifying the "in your face" attitude toward a social system that relegated them to their low economic and social status.
For many, C-Murder has become the poster boy for this thug culture. His newfound wealth and status — along with his fearsome-sounding name — made it that much easier for him to live out his tough-guy lifestyle, oblivious to the consequences. A sheriff of a nearby Louisiana parish accused him of "living out his lyrics." A volatile, hot-headed young man, he couldn't separate his stage persona from his street persona. It was bound to get him into trouble and it did. He had a series of minor arrests, including weapons violations, when stopped by the Louisiana State Police while speeding on Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans with a semiautomatic pistol and wearing a bulletproof vest in March 1998. The vehicle was initially believed to have been stolen, but it was later determined that he purchased the vehicle at an auction.
Following the violent deaths of rappers like Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. in the 1990s, rappers were known to wear bulletproof vests, but it was still illegal for civilians to wear body armor in Louisiana for fear of it being used in the commission of violent crimes. Several months later, charges were reduced. Corey was hit with a small, $500 fine and let go. His worst criminal actions were yet to come.
During the '90s, when rivalries existed between rap record labels, rappers were known to slander each other publicly. This led to the violence that ended the lives of Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Master P explicitly forbade his artists from doing slandering others, but even he couldn't control the impulses of his smug, swaggering younger brother. The opposite of Master P in terms of philanthropy, no record exists of C-Murder making charitable donations to anyone or any organization. He came out of the projects and into great wealth, which he flaunted and shared with very few.
Perhaps Corey thought that his fame and money put him above the rules that applied to others, but he found out differently on August 14, 2001 when he and some of his friends attempted to enter Club Raggs in Baton Rouge. When ordered to submit to a search for concealed weapons, he refused. As bouncer Daryl Jackson pressed the issue, Corey asked to speak to the manager, Norman Sparrow, who came out and backed up his bouncer. Corey would have to undergo a search before being allowed to enter.
At this point, a later indictment charged, Corey allegedly pulled a semiautomatic pistol out of his waistband and attempted to fire it at Sparrow. It jammed, and Sparrow's life was spared. Corey allegedly attempted to fire again, this time at Jackson, and the weapon also failed to discharge. Frustrated, Corey reportedly fired a single shot into the floor and fled in his car, but the incident was captured on a security camera's videotape. He turned himself in two days after an arrest warrant was issued, charging him with attempted second degree murder. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison. Corey's attorney, Roy Maughan Jr., said his client is innocent of the allegations.
Released on $100,000 bond — pocket change for a multimillionaire — Corey Miller, alias C-Murder, was free to strike again. And it wasn't long before he did.